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Culture Perspective: Bubbles Inside Bubbles.

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Why Silos Formed Inside Organization.


The constantly evolving strategy and business processes in today's dynamic business landscape can be hindered by the slow pace of development in organizational culture. Hence, organizations need to comprehend and strengthen their core culture which can help in cultural alignment. Cultural alignment refers to the harmonious integration of an organization's culture with other aspects of the organization, such as strategy, business process, structure, and people management. Failure to achieve cultural alignment can result in cultural silos, which can hinder an organization's ability to achieve its objectives and thrive in a competitive market.

What is organizational culture?

Organizational culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, principles, and ideologies espoused by an organization. It is what defines the organization's identity and shapes how employees think, feel, and behave within the organization. Organizational culture can be summarized as "How we do things around here." However, when different departments or teams within an organization develop their own distinct cultures that do not align with the overall organizational culture, cultural silos can emerge

Cultural silos occur when different departments, teams, or individuals within an organization develop their own distinct culture, which may not align with the overall organizational culture. Cultural silos can be created by a variety of factors, such as geographic location, functional specialization, and differing objectives or priorities.

Identifying the Cultures

The existence of sub-culture within an organization can hamper organizational alignment. People need to understand its differences and how to act upon it. Schneider has Identified four distinct culture:

Control, Collaboration, Cultivation, and Competence

Control Culture

Control Culture focuses on getting and keeping control to reach success. It is oriented in power, predictability, and process. People in this culture are seeking as much control towards every business variable. It strives to remove vulnerability through standardization and stability. This type of culture prefers a strict hierarchical chain of command. Their leader emphasizes conservative, cautious approach in taking the company to the future. Emphasize on the development of clear policies and procedures as well as compliance. The example of Organization such as: government, military, and factory. While at the department level the examples are: Finance, Legal, Compliance, and Operations.

Collaboration Culture

Collaboration Culture focuses on building, developing and making use of effective teams by building synergy from diverse individuals. This culture values positive affective relationships with internal or external stakeholders. Success means being able to put a combination of diverse people to generate performance synergy. The leaders emphasized team building and fostering cooperation and coordination. Leader acts as a representative of the team and values shared judgement making and decision making. The example of Organization such as: sports team and family-owned business. While at the department level the examples are: Human Resource and Public Relation.

Competence Culture

Competence Culture focuses on gaining expertise and advancement of knowledge to reach success. This culture thrives on endorsing intellectual and technical capability. It is motivated by the gain of achievement, where it is achieved through competing against standard of excellence. People succeed when they can have the highest level of competence and capitalize the knowledge. Their leaders become the standard setters and motivate people through their vision with assertive, convincing persuasion.·They believe in ideas and concepts that ultimately move people. They foster individual and group competition. The example of Organization such as: University and Consulting Firm. While at the department level the examples are: Research & Development, Sales & Marketing.

Cultivation Culture

Lastly Cultivation Culture focuses on the achievement of individual growth and collective purposes. In this culture, people work hard to achieve because they believe in a higher order of values and continue self-development. People belonging to this culture believe that what they do is valuable to themselves and others. This beneficial endeavor is not only for the organization, but also to its customers or constituents. Leaders in this culture concentrate on creating conditions for success. They are catalysts who stimulate the bringing about of a desired process or goal of individuals and collectives. ·Leaders have power by inspiring and capturing the imagination or others. The example of Organization such as: Religious Organization, and Non-Profit Organization. While at the department level the examples are: Learning & Development.

How would you identify the culture in your organization?

  • Control Culture

  • Collaboration Culture

  • Competence Culture

  • Cultivation Culture

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